Images / Influences

Within my circle of friends we have often joked about how the Good Times painting (at bottom of post) and the Emerald City dance sequence of the Wiz are embodiments of an energy, attitude that we know as “house.”

But if I begin to unpack these images, what do they convey that parallels a house consciousness?

They portray blackness as divinely human, as bodies worthy of value/dignity even in imperfection. As beautiful even in sorrowful conditions (we could take the Wiz’ Brand New Day sequence as another illumination).  Part jook joint, part blues’ tradition of transparent vulnerability/trickster down but not out life perspective, part sophisticated swank, part diva, part folk, part on/of the block, in the community, and always a celebration of being/existing, always a “both/and” ethos of reality, rather than a cut n’ dry, it is or it ain’t sensibility.  House welcomes ambiguity, thrives on it, sits down deep in the crossroads making the art of survival gorgeous even in its most ugly tones…We need more examples like this (still)…


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